I find it amusing that my first post in almost a year complements the last post’s covering of American Horror Story: Asylum, what with American Horror Story: Coven premiering in around two weeks. Which I am COMPLETELY psyched for. Jessica Lange, Kathy Bates, and Angela Bassett? Yes. Yes a thousand times. I am so ready for the witching hour on Wednesday evenings.
So a lot of time has passed, and I have found myself paying very little attention to social media, because I am incapable of dividing my time in enough little slices to make room for it. I’ve been a busy little bee, and there’s no signs of that slowing until winter of 2014. What has taken up all of Miska’s free time, if not writing?
School stuff, man. School stuff.
I finished my time at community college and made the jump to a university. These core courses have taken over my life, but in the best way possible. My major is English, I can’t remember if that was ever mentioned in a previous post. I can’t remember a lot of things, like where I set down anything and if there was a thing I needed to do over the weekend (oh my God, is there a thing? That will dawn on me the morning of, and I will then be irritated and tired because I Promised and all I want to do is finish this paper and sleep?), because my week days are crammed with work, classes, reading and doing homework and maybe, if I’m lucky, a spot of writing. I don’t even know what a social life looks like anymore. I loved my time with Weaving Dreams Publishing so much that I’d like to fashion together my own career out of the kind of work that deals in books, so this is worth it, I tell you. So this past spring, I took required classes in American and British literature, along with a Linguistics class that was friggin’ awesome. The professor of that class was the Serbian equivalent of Eddie Izzard, and that just about made my entire life.
So from January to May, Thursdays were the best day ever. One day there will be a blog post comprised solely of that man’s verbal idiosyncrasies, and it will be amazing. I have him again this fall, and it is truly like receiving lectures from the Great Izzard.
Oh, one other kind of cool thing happened this year.
I became a published author!
Of two short stories. Nothing extraordinarily grand, but hey, a girl’s gotta start somewhere! The facts are these (oh, Pushing Daisies, how you have forever changed that phrase for me, and I love you for it): Once upon a time, a Miska belonged to a writers group that changed her life, because that was how she began her internship with the publisher and met and learned from editors, and that writers group was taking short story submissions for an anthology. Miska submitted two stories, and lo, they accepted! After much polishing and rewording, along with the polishing and rewording she in turn did for the anthology’s other short stories, a completed work came together, and was published in April of 2013.
That anthology is titled Imprints of the Past. The general theme is nostalgia, so the stories primarily center around family and remembrance, with various subgenres. The really cool thing about this anthology is that all of the proceeds go to a local non-profit organization called Harbor House. Harbor House is a shelter for women and children suffering from domestic abuse, and it is an organization very, very close to the hearts of many people in our area. I personally know friends and others in the community that have benefited from the shelter and the wonderful counselors at Harbor House; the proceeds could not go to a more deserving network of volunteers attempting to educate others on domestic abuse and offer help to those caught in its web.
I will speak very briefly on my stories, and other than the fact that there are some amazing authors who contributed to this anthology and their stories are beautiful and heart wrenching and memorable, I highly encourage picking up a copy because a large chunk of the money goes directly to the shelter, and every sale helps. My first story is 129 Juniper Lane, and it is the simple tale of a brother and sister returning (breaking into) their childhood home after it’s been sold following their parent’s divorce. Hilarity and heartbreak ensue.
The second story is Apple of My Eye, and that one … that one is personal. I fictionalized myself in the form of Anna, but the grandmother in this tale is my own, and it concerns the brief, painfully bright moments in the months before my grandmother died of lung cancer. It was difficult to write – even more difficult to have edited, as if they weren’t taking a piece of my history and a specific memory with my grandmother and twisting and pulling it every which way – but the purging of some of that pain was good. Reading about my grandmother in print has been bittersweet, but I am deeply grateful for the chance to do it and have it be a part of something so special. My grandmother would have liked that.
So the style of this blog will subtly change, because it will reflect the thoughts of a manic college student losing her mind while she tries to fit in homework, reading, and writing on top of a nearly full time job. There might be posts unrelated to books and writing that deal with American Horror Story, because I DO WHAT I WANT. I might talk about pieces of literature I’m reading for class, research assignments, there will be book reviews, blather, and the kind of silliness that comes on at two in the morning the day before a paper is due. With coffee involved. So stop on by, tell me your thoughts on AHS or whatever you’re reading, and if you’re putting yourself through school the hard way like me, my God, bust out the wine and let’s commiserate.
There is still plenty of cake.